Goals & Activities
The Power of We Consortium has established six major goal areas:
- Advance intellectual and social development by nurturing early childhood development, providing top-notch educational opportunities, and engaging youth;
- Build a dynamic, diverse, and vibrant economy that is attractive for entrepreneurs and provides opportunities for all families to be self-sufficient;
- Promote physical and mental health through access to care and environmental improvements that encourage healthy behaviors;
- Keep homes and communities safe by strengthening families and neighborhoods;
- Steward natural resources by embracing "smart growth" principles and using innovative resource management strategies; and
- Strengthen the sense of community cohesion by actively engaging residents in the change process.
Progress toward each of these goals is tracked with 31 indicators of community well-being.
The Power of We Consortium has developed an efficient model for coordinating and leveraging resources in support of its goals. It is not a centralized model designed to "fix" the community's problems. Rather, it is a decentralized, collaborative model for brokering the relationships, information, and resources that maximize impact. Though counter-intuitive for some, the PWC model does more with less. That is, rather than create new, expensive, and cumbersome administrative structures to address each challenging social need, it uses the power of communication, collaboration, and accountability to focus resources where they're most needed.
The Power of We Consortium gets its work done through coalitions and committees composed of its member and affiliate organizations, monthly member meetings, and its members’ well-established institutional systems and structures. PWC coalitions (sometimes referred to as collaboratives, networks, or councils) are formed to address the complex challenges that are beyond the means of our individual members to address. They focus attention and activity where they’re needed – on the area’s highest need populations – rather than on new vehicles or organizations that might distract energy and resources from the critical social issues. They also serve to keep the PWC connected to the community’s real needs and many assets – they monitor the community’s pulse, improve residents’ access to institutional resources, and employ a diversity of strategies to serve high-need populations.
In turn, three Power of We Consortium committee support the work of
the coalitions and PWC members. The Data Committee enhances the
generation, availability, and application of meaningful, geographic- or
population-specific data and information and uses it to monitor the
Monthly Power of We Consortium meetings include three parts: an opportunity to learn about a new community initiative—usually consisting of a presentation from a PWC member, coalition, or committee; action items related to PWC-sponsored initiatives; and reports regarding ongoing PWC activity. Facilitation of monthly PWC meetings is rotated among the two PWC co-chairs. To maintain continuity in leadership, the co-chairs are elected annually from among the PWC's founding institutional members to two-year, staggered terms.
To maximize efficiency and minimize administrative burdens, the Power of We Consortium is supported by the administrative structures of its member organizations. The Ingham County Health Department (ICHD) serves as the administrative, fiduciary, and staff home of the PWC, its Leadership and Practice Committee, and its Investors Steering Committee. The Capital Area United Way serves as the administrative, fiduciary, and staff home of the Data Committee. Investors Steering Committee members use cost-sharing arrangements to engage a team of staff within the ICHD and consultants to provide support for the PWC and its committees. That team is composed of the coordinator of the PWC, who is housed at the ICHD; the ICHD's Director of Planning and Special Services; a project manager; and an administrative assistant. As appropriate, consultants are engaged to provide evaluation and other expertise to develop and monitor PWC projects.
For more information about the Power of We Consortium, contact Peggy Roberts at (517) 887-4691.